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Pups rescued from South Dakota reservation looking for forever home

Ruff Start Rescue says the stray dogs were picked up as a wildfire burned near the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Hot temps were also a danger.

PINE RIDGE, S.D. — A number of dogs rescued from a wildfire near the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota are now in the Twin Cities, looking for forever homes. 

Ruff Start Rescue executive director Azure Davis says Pine Ridge is home to thousands of stray animals, as food, water and shelter are already a challenge for some residents of the reservation. 

A wildfire currently burning in the area is making things even worse for the dogs, as is an extreme heat wave with temperatures reaching more than 100 degrees. 

Davis says Ruff Start already takes in between five and 10 dogs every couple of weeks from the Pine Ridge Reservation, with some being owner surrenders, some strays and some literally plucked from dumps. Ruff Start works with an organization called Lightshine that is on the ground in South Dakota, and has contacts with tribal police and community leaders that help in the dog rescue process. 

With the wildfire and heat situation, Ruff Start took in 24 dogs in just one week between July 15 and 22. The organization is looking for folks to adopt them, but is also in need of foster families to care for animals while they wait for adoption and donations, as Ruff Start does not receive state or federal funding. 

If you are interested in adopting one of these companion animals or helping in another way, check out the Ruff Start Rescue website.

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